Monday 15 August 2011

3 lessons from an Atlantic rower: self reliance, positive thinking and LPATBTYFT

In 1991 I worked for 8 months for John Ridgway at his adventure school in Ardmore, close to Cape Wrath in the Highlands of Scotland.

In 1966, John had rowed across the Atlantic in an open boat with Chay Blyth, taking 92 days - a story recounted in his book A Fighting Chance. On his return he set out to create an enclave where people could learn some of the lessons he learned on this and many subsequent adventures.

As an 18 year old fresh out of school and wanting to test myself in a challenging environment, John's enclave was the perfect testing ground. For the princely salary of £5 per week each, a team of 10 instructors led diverse and hardy individuals on canoeing, climbing, hillwalking, sailing, swimming and survival expeditions.

John's vision centres on three qualities he believes enable people to achieve their full potential. He always stressed them to us, and to the 12,000 people who passed through his adventure school. I still think they provide a great guide. They are:
  1. Self Reliance
  2. Positive Thinking
  3. Leaving People And Things Better Than You Find Them
If you have any suggestions that you think should be added to the list please add comments below. I think these attributes are not far from the Four Commando Qualities.

And if you want to enjoy beautiful landscape and outdoor adventures suitable for every level of ability, Ridgeway Adventure is well worth a visit!

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